Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” ~ John 21:12
After hiking for several days through the rain and on deeply rutted trails, Ro and I dropped down onto Colorado Highway 114. We were both excited. Silvia’s son, Alex, was going to meet us and drive us into Gunnison for a day of “R and R,” food resupplies, and a couple of good meals!
Food was always a challenge for me on the trail. I ate a granola bar (oats ‘n honey) or a flour tortilla for breakfast. Lunch was a package of Tuna Creations (Tuna Lemon Pepper, Deli Style Tuna Salad, Salmon Lemon Dill, Salmon Mango Chipotle, or Buffalo Style Chicken) wrapped in a flour tortilla. Some days I had peanut butter and jelly wrapped in a tortilla. Notice the theme?
Throughout the day Ro and I ate candy bars, energy bars, jerky, trail mix, and a variety of Chex Mixes. My “go to” snack was corn nuts, over nine hundred calories in a large bag. We consumed massive amounts of water all day long. For a treat, I put a package of Crystal Light into my water bottle.
Supper was our big meal, a hot freeze-dried meal: lasagna with meat sauce, chicken and dumplings, Mexican adobe rice with chicken, or plain chicken and rice. And I ate a flour tortilla with our supper.
Hungry and calorie deprived we looked forward to going into town for a good meal and a dry bed. While waiting for Alex, our friend Laura from Crested Butte was resupplying at the trailhead. “Would you all like some watermelon?” “Yes, we would.” It was the best watermelon I’ve ever had. We ate all of it.
Alex showed up and jumped out of his car. After we hugged each other, Alex said, “I brought some chocolate banana bread. Would you like some?” “Yes.” Fresh watermelon. Chocolate banana bread. Ro and I were in heaven. It was the best banana bread I’ve ever had.
Alex drove us into Gunnison. “Would you like to see the town?” “Let’s eat first.” We went to the Backcountry Café, a typical college eatery, which specializes in fairly inexpensive food served in quantity, a dream when you’ve been on the trail. Ro and I ordered “The Burrito” loaded with everything.
“This is best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had,” I said. “Dad, you always say that. Whenever we go into town, whatever we eat, you say it’s the best you’ve ever had.”
“Well, it’s true Ro. This is the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had by far. Taste that green chili.”
“And you had the best hamburger ever at the Jefferson Store near Kenosha Pass,” Ro said. “That was the best hamburger ever. They grilled the bun just right and the hamburger was juicy and seasoned to perfection.”
“Hey Ro, remember the pizza we had in Leadville?”
“Yeah, that was the best pizza ever. I’d drive to Leadville just to eat at High Mountain Pies.”
“What about the best breakfast omelet ever at the Golden Burro Café? And the best Jamaican Jerk Chicken with rice at the food truck in Buena Vista?” “I have to admit that was good,” said Ro, “and those breakfast bowls in B.V. had to be the best ever as well.”
“We’re hungry and calorie deprived. So, I think that’s why everything we eat when we come into town is the best ever,” I said.
What if the best meal ever is the one we are eating? What if the best day ever is the one we are living?
Jesus tells the disciples, “Come and eat breakfast.” Such a simple everyday act. What would eating a breakfast of fish cooked over a charcoal fire and prepared by Jesus taste like? What about the bread he served? Was it the best breakfast ever for the disciples?
Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. He lets his best friend down. He turns his back on Jesus. He was not present in Jesus’ time of great need. Peter must have felt apprehensive. How will Christ treat me?
What is Peter hungry for? What are we hungry for?
Jesus says, “Come and eat breakfast.” You are welcome at my table. “Come and eat.” With the invitation, Peter and the disciples know the Living Christ accepts, forgives, loves, and restores them. Fish and bread have never tasted better.
Isn’t this what we are hungry for? Don’t we crave love and acceptance? Don’t we want to know there is a place for us at the table? That we are worthy?
Christ says, “Come and eat.” Grace is the food offered. The only requirement is we must be hungry says Father Richard Rohr. What are we hungry for?
Blessings and peace,